Delaware Today Article Features Great Dames CEO

Great Dames CEO Looks Forward to Future Plans

Sharon Kelly Hake Feature_December 2014

Sharon Kelly Hake is CEO and president of Great Dames Inc., a local philanthropic group that helps women inspire other women to be successful. As it celebrates its first five years, Great Dames is turning its focus to entrepreneurship.


DT: Please share a little background.

SH: Something that has been a fundamental premise with Great Dames, and what we believe in, is that conversation matters. And real conversations create change. I grew up in a large family of nine people. We spent a lot of time at the dinner table every night deep in conversation. I don’t know how prevalent that is today. The family was headed by a very interesting Irishman, who was also a federal judge, who engaged his seven children in interesting conversation. By the way, dinner was a command performance. We were expected to be very involved in school and school activities, but you were home by 7 or 7:30 for dinner. It didn’t matter what you were doing. We would make 10 or 12 pots of tea every night and talk for hours. So, Great Dames is really about creating communities of women who can engage in conversation, but, really, for purposes of creating change. Because we believe in the power of conversation to both create understanding, but also to create action. Everything we do, whether it’s one-on-one conversation, whether it’s a workshop or an event for a salon or a mentoring relationship, any of our offerings, it’s all about creating change and creating action. And none of it is just for fun. We are women who believe in the power to create change and that’s why we’re part of the Great Dames community … whether we do it for conversation and understanding, and friendship and making connections. It is rooted in this whole experience I had as a child in the power of conversation through my childhood. Read more…



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